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Welcome To GameVisions

3/18/00 by John "Award" Del Percio

"For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the World, and all the wonder that would be;
Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;
Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew
From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue;
Far along the world-wide whisper of the south-wind rushing warm,
With the standards of the peoples plunging thro' the thunder-storm;
Till the war-drum throbb'd no longer, and the battle flags were furl'd
In the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World.
There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law."

--Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Locksley Hall", 1842

A Whole New Vision

How many of you have run into the following problem? You are interested in how the newest (or older) game or piece of hardware and, logically, decided to check out a game or hardware review site to see how it sized up. After spending several minutes navigating around link after link, you finally find (or don't find) the review you were looking for. In reading it, the only thing you hear is how bad the game is, and how the last great game is 4 years old, and you didn't even like it! The reviewer always seems to have some mega-computer that you couldn't imagine ever being able to afford. Or, in the case of hardware, all you may hear is how bad the hardware you're looking at is, and how everything sub-$2000(US) is worthless compared to their hardware?

Well, we have. And if you're an avid gamer, odds are that you are quite familiar with this situation too, or worse, accept it as the normal! That is the premise upon which we here at GameVisions decided to found the site. After years of frustration with other review sites, and strengthening urges to go beat the reviewers over the head with a giant salami, we figured "If we think we can do better...why not?".
It is a good indicator of the way the reviewing community was run, when it even grabbed the attention of a legendary programmer from a company called id Software (which has produced a few little known games by the names of Doom and Quake/II/III), a man named Paul Steed. I was shocked to see an article written by him in regards to game reviewers that nearly agreed with everything I thought.
"Now take your average game reviewer. What kind of system do they have? What kind of knowledge do they have? What kind of experience do they have? Do they represent the average consumer of ANY game sold today? Hell, no. They don't. Let me let you reviewers in on a little secret...you are not normal. You do not represent any form of normalcy. You are the freak of the freaks. You are the hard-core. You are the person who (possibly) gets paid to play games and vomit your opinion of them to the far reaches of the cyberspace universe. Don't get me wrong. It takes one to know one. I am anything but normal. Just ask my therapist. These are the people that care only about one thing: stomping your face into the ground under the heel of their mighty mouse. They want to hear your lamentations as you become a red stain in the corner of q3dm1...They usually represent that sleek 9 percent of people out there who have the knowledge and desire to tear apart their computer, put it back together again, analyze the Quake source code, spec out a mod or two, play capture-the-rocket-flag-arena and then go have lunch...Okay, yeah I am exaggerating and yeah I know many reviews are articulate, well-written valid examples of criticism...and they're welcome. But come on. You know as well as I do too often making a review is more about making the reviewer famous and the site popular than making an accurate, useful observation on the product being reviewed. Most reviewers can't see the forest for the trees. In fact, many are firmly face-planted into a mass of BARK. Have some sense of relative comparison guys. Look at things objectively instead of whatever the flavor of the week sways your opinion towards." **

While a bit exaggerated, this is similar to the frustration with reviewers all of us here have had in the past. I can guarantee you that all of our systems are normal (though we are constantly forced to listen to people flame us for having "obsolete" systems). I intend to upgrade to a nicer system within the next year, but I still intend to test things on my old one too. A game should be good no matter where in the specs your system falls under. I admit that I, as well, fall under no means of normality, but I do understand what a good review should consist of. I do not always crush my opponent in multi-player games...in fact, I rarely do. This is partly due to my lack of skill, but I can also (partially) accredit it to my 33.6 modem on a lousy Internet connection. Yes, I may very well be the last reviewer on the planet without a DSL line to my house. (Actually most of us at GameVisions still use the common modem). I also admit, that yes, I can rip apart my computer, put it back together again, analyze the Quake source, spec out a mod, play CTRF and have lunch...but its an acquired talent...really! You'll also be happy to know that I, as well as the rest of the crew, appreciate a game for far more than how many frames per second we can pull off it on a mega-computer, or how many rockets you can fire at an opponent in a second. Personally, I love the scenery, the detail, the environment, the story, the sound effects, and the implementation. I expect a game to function relatively well, but some bugginess is acceptable...even expected. I'm a programmer, I understand how complex games are to program, and I understand that some margin of error is necessary if programmed by humans. I also, actually like playing games. Unlike what I have seen in some other sites do in the past, I actually know how to give a positive score to a game...even if just based on a game being fun to play. From what I have seen from the rest of the staff so far, I am not alone in these ideals. Hopefully we will impress Paul, as well as you with our open style of reviews.
But wait, there's more! GameVisions may well become one of the best game and hardware review sites on the planet (or so we hope), but it doesn't end there...or anywhere near! You see, we are a complete online computing magazine, with a focus on games; however, were not all fun and games. You can look to us for the latest computer news, editorial articles, and feature stories on everything from common every-day social issues, to the latest software, science, technology topics and DVD's. We also will interview, up-close and personal, some of the biggest names in the computer and gaming industry. What's more, an even rarer feature in most of today's online magazines: Linux information. Not just a section tucked into the corner either, a full Linux information scheme right along with the normal content. This rounds out the site to a comprehensive guide to the latest in games and hardware, but also a great "geek news" site.
So what will make GameVisions different from other sites other than the content, you may ask? That question is possibly best answered by a question. What divides a magazine with a great one? The style of course. Countless times I have had the feeling of nodding off while reading someone's articles. Some magazines seem to hire people that aren't really interested in the topic themselves, no matter how well versed in it they may be. Here at GameVisions we won't write as though we are some third party, all knowledgeable entity that enjoys rambling on just to hear the sound of their own keyboards. We will try our best to discuss matters as fans, not preachers. We won't even bother to pretend we know what were doing (Hey! Wait a minute....!). We're just going to tell it like it is, the most efficient way of doing so, while trying to add all of our personality, style and flare to it. After all, we're just like you...fans...and really annoyed at wasting our money...and our time....
So stick around awhile, kick your feet up on your desk, and prepare to be informed and entertained. Be sure to check back frequently, as we will always have the most recent news, stories, and reviews...and even sneak previews, before things hit the market! Feel free to talk to us and other fans by dropping by our IRC server at: irc.gamevisions.com:6667, or post your comments, questions, or flames to the forums. Take your pick on the polls. And if you ever have a question, bug report, or suggestion about the site, feel free to email any one of us (preferably someone from the department in question), or if there is a problem or suggestion for one of our scripts, let me know!. You are about to enter another universe. A twisted dimension where the reviewers are normal fans (well ok...maybe not normal), and the articles give you exactly the information you were looking for...or maybe even more. Welcome to GameVisions......
**You can find the article by Paul Steed in its entirety at http://www.loonygames.com/content/2.11/totb/index2.shtml



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